Knucklas is a small village in Powys on the B4355, about 2 miles north-west of Knighton. Knighton is about 17 miles west of Ludlow. The castle sits in an elevated position on the north side of the village. It was fortified in the 13th century by the Mortimers. To read more about the castle click here
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In this article MHS member, Janet Lewis, talks about the Knucklas Castle Community Land Project, and invites members to support it.

Knucklas? Cnwclas? Conoclas? Knokelace? Knoklas?

Knucklas Castle is nothing much to look at now, no crumbling ruins or ivy covered walls, just a few lumps and bumps in the ground. What it lacks in tangible masonry it more than makes up for in its stunning location and commanding views over the Teme valley into Shropshire which reward anyone making the effort to climb to the top. It is easy to see why the Mortimers or maybe the Welsh, or maybe even earlier settlers, built a castle here.

In 2009 two plots of land came up for auction totalling 21 acres and including the scheduled ancient monument of Knucklas Castle in the care of Cadw. They were bought by 4 philanthropic locals who helped set up the Knucklas Castle Community Land Project (KCCLP) who now lease the land and castle. The eventual aim is that the KCCLP will buy and own the land and castle so it will be held in perpetuity by the community. This is being done by the sale of shares.

The project consists of three strands:
1.The allotments and orchard which have already been very successful.
2.The management of the woodland and flora and fauna within it.
3.The history and archaeological group. Interested in everything to do with the castle, the wider community and how they relate to the Welsh Marches.

Knucklas Castle has never been properly investigated and very few primary sources have been found, secondary sources are often contradictory, clearly erroneous or risible. With this in mind an exciting prospect for 2014 is that we are applying for Heritage Lottery Funding. The title of the project being ‘Investigating Knucklas Castle’s historical significance in the Marches through guided community archaeology and conservation planning’. By getting professional help to undertake some proper surveys of the site, hopefully it will give us some more definitive answers to what lies beneath those bumps and hollows on the castle mound.

To this end if there is anyone with experience or interest in being involved in the investigation of this ‘virgin’ site we would love to hear from you......and of course you can always become an owner of a Mortimer castle by buying some shares!

For more information about the Knucklas Castle Community Land Project visit the website here 

Janet Lewis

Mortimer History Society                   Charity No. 1171392             contact